I am not a writing this review to the new Palestinian movie Omar, as a professional movie critic, I am writing it as a Palestinian who was very happy when he saw a Palestinian movie telling a realistic Palestinian story. A story similar to those we gossiped about while hanging out on friend’s rooftop in the old city of Nablus when we were teenagers. A story based on a real story as Hany Abo Asaad claimed.
The Movie tells the story of 3 friends, Amjad, Tariq and Omar, 3 young men plans to attack an Israeli base near Nablus, “Huwara” as we later learn, after the attack in which an Israeli soldier was killed, Israeli forces went after the 3 of them, arresting Omar in their first raid. In prison Omar face the usual Shabeh “A form of torture the Israeli uses” before he face his Shabak interrogator “Who look like Dr Bassem yousef!:)”. Omar manage to convince the Agent that he will help them capture Tariq, his comrade if they let him go. But soon enough he was brought back into prison in a failed ambush. Omar manage again to win the Shabak agent, that this time he will really helps them capture Tariq, Suspected of treason Omar tries to make his way back to the group.
In the middle of all of that, the movie tell the love story between Omar and Nadia, Tariq’s sister, their love interrupted with the continues arrest of Omar, mistrust, and the betrayal of a childhood friend ended with them going in separate ways. It was not a happy ending for the love birds.
The movie story is very simple, yet very complicated, if you didn’t pay attention you will end up with the wrong conclusion “As I did”. Although when a certain chain of events start you could predict how it’s going to end, but you will fail to predict how the next chain of events will look like “got it?”. which kept me anxious to see how it will end, specially around the last 15 minutes. Personally, I think this what make Hany Abu Assad, a creative director.
The movie was filmed between Nablus, Jerusalem, and Nazareth, but while watching the movie you can never tell which city the events are taking place at, as the scenes flips from one city to another through out the movie, but this a minor issue you can easily over come if you weren’t born and raised in any of the 3 cities ;). Beside that the filming was great, specially the framing, many of the frames would have made a great photographs if they were paused.
The movie is 100% Palestinian. Directed, filmed, acted and produced all by Palestinians, which I think it gave Hani Abu Assad the freedom to choose a real life Palestinian story from the second Palestinian Intifada. Unlike paradise now which I found a desperate attempt to explain what we “Palestinian” still don’t understand.
If you want to watch a movie about Palestine, telling a real Palestinian story, Omar is the one to watch! It’s a great movie for those who look to Palestine and Palestinian from the outside and for those who lived this and still living it! It’s good for all, Go Watch it!
One last point, “Inch’Allah“, and “Bethlehem“, 2 movies who suppose to tell stories from Palestine, although I am judging “at this point” from their trailers but I can comfortably says, both are crap. In “Incha’Allah” for example, I couldn’t ignore the disgusting neo-colonialist messages the movie hold, I felt sick by watching the trailer alone!
The movie message in short “Ohh, look to this nice white lady who live in Telavive, and goes to help the “primitive” Palestinian native in the west bank or whatever, then something happen, she get emotional and crying as she goes through a moral dilemma….and FUCK YOU, how about that?
Did you see the part where the white lady gives lipstick to the Palestinian Hijabi woman… filled my eyes with tears “That was Sarcasm”
A must say note; Regardless to the movie message, if you live in “Israel”, you can be the most hard core pro-Palestine activist EVER, yet you are still part of the colonial system who oppress the Palestinians, regardless of your original nationality “yaa, I mean you, white people spending the night in Telvive and saving during the day!“. Whatever, many white liberals will adore it!
The other movie, Bethlehem, is an Israeli movie talks about the strong friendship between the Shabak agent and the Palestinian collaborator he handles,…… COME ON! Do I even need to explain, why this shit is fucked up! But, whatever, many white right-wing with liberal masks will loves it!
Stop making movies about Palestine, let us do our own. Thank you..